Veda Nilayam in Poes Garden continues to be the power centre it once was even though J Jayalalithaa, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu is no more.
The new government, led by Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and other ministers dropped at Veda Nilayam to pay their respects to the incumbent resident, Sasikala. Panneerselvam dropped in at the House at 11am along with ministers Edappadi K Palaniswami, Dindigul C Sreenivasan, P Thangamani and SP Velumani. Subsequently, more ministers visited Poes Garden.
Their visit to Veda Nilayam gains importance in the wake of Sasikala taking up a new role both in the party and the government.
Speculations were abundant over the meeting, as the post of general secretary (occupied by MGR and Jayalalithaa) has fallen vacant. The AIADMK general council has a say in electing the next general secretary.
The senior ministers may have met Sasikala, but those who came later sat in the front chamber for a while and left. The ministers left a couple of hours later, but continued to be absent from their Secretariat chambers. It is hoped that they may return to work on December 9.
Interestingly, Jayalalithaa loyalist KA Sengottaiyan was also spotted at Poes Garden. In 2012, he was thrown out from the cabinet, after he fell out of Sasikala’s good books. He was seen in Poes Garden on December 7 and 8, which shows that different factions are trying to reach on a compromise formula. It remains to be seen if others who suffered a similar fate will attempt to return.
Meanwhile, senior BJP leaders, led by PM Narendra Modi, visiting at Rajaji Hall at the funeral of Jayalalithaa has given rise to rumours that the party will try to strengthen its presence in Tamil Nadu. The local BJP leadership, however, said there will be no illicit entry by the party into Tamil Nadu. Everything would be legal.